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What happened to awesome space movies?

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21 minutes ago, TheSaint said:

"I see you've managed to lose your shirt."

I laughed out loud (at that exact line), which caused my wife to come in and ask what was so funny, then she joined me and we watched the rest.

Edited by tater

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9 hours ago, tater said:

I laughed out loud (at that exact line), which caused my wife to come in and ask what was so funny, then she joined me and we watched the rest.

Alan Rickman was a genius.

I keep pushing my kids to watch the original Star Trek, for two reasons:

1. I want them to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is one of my favorite movies, and they won't understand it unless they have a good knowledge of the original Star Trek.

2. I want them to watch Galaxy Quest, which is one of my favorite movies, and they won't understand it unless they have a good knowledge of the original Star Trek.

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2 hours ago, TheSaint said:

Alan Rickman was a genius.

I keep pushing my kids to watch the original Star Trek, for two reasons:

1. I want them to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is one of my favorite movies, and they won't understand it unless they have a good knowledge of the original Star Trek.

2. I want them to watch Galaxy Quest, which is one of my favorite movies, and they won't understand it unless they have a good knowledge of the original Star Trek.

My daughter goes to sleep every night watching Star Trek IV or V.  Sometimes VI, but not often.  Also once in awhile III.  II once I think.  Never the first one.

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"This episode was badly written!"

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I have to wonder if some part of the apparent paucity of awesome space movies is because of the difficulty of finding an audience.

Make a movie that adheres to physical reality that takes place in space, and you have to be very careful and precise with your special effects.  Most people will never notice, and will not be drawn to your movie for that reason.  Of the remainder, there are those who will get lost in the subject matter, and refrain from seeing movies like yours because they're hard to understand.  The only ones who are left are the people who will potentially appreciate your efforts -- but for them, you'd better get every detail right and display it in precisely the right way, or they'll focus only on the things you missed (or the things they think you missed).

Witness the number of people who dislike Gravity because Neil deGrasse Tyson couldn't figure out why Clooney's character would "fly away" after releasing the tether, even though superimposing multiple exposures makes it perfectly clear that he was at the end of a rotating system (as does paying attention to the stars in the background when the camera shows close-ups of the characters).  Or who dislike Gravity because they paid close attention to local physics, but they totally screwed up orbital mechanics.  (There are those who avoided Gravity simply because they didn't care for the movie generally.  I imagine, unfortunately, that they tend to get lost in the noise.)

I imagine that once you eliminate the producers who stay away from realistic space movies because they don't like them or because the subject matter is intimidating, the ones who are left -- who would have to be kind of intelligent, honestly, if they want to make a realistic space movie in the first place -- might be left asking themselves why they should bother.

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Edited by Nikolai
Missed italics for one of the "Gravity"s

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3 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

My daughter goes to sleep every night watching Star Trek IV or V.  Sometimes VI, but not often.  Also once in awhile III.  II once I think.  Never the first one.

The funny thing is, I'm not a Star Trek fan. I watched TOS when I was a kid. (In reruns. I'm not that old.) I watched Star Trek: The Motion Sickness in the theaters and was unimpressed. But II. Man. When I was 14 that was the height of mythological storytelling. Blew me away. I didn't hate III as much as some people do. I did hate IV. I actually got to see it for free in a pre-screening test audience. Still hated it. V was awful. VI was okay. And, to be completely honest, that was the last Star Trek movie I've ever watched.

I watched Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager infrequently. I had a couple friends in that stage of my life who were die-hard Trekkies, so I would watch it whenever I was hanging out with them. But I wouldn't go out of my way for it. By the time Enterprise had come around those friends had moved on. I don't think I've watched a single episode of a Star Trek series since then.

I watched the Abrams reboot movies, and I actually enjoyed them. But I don't really think of them as Star Trek movies.

2 minutes ago, tater said:

"This episode was badly written!"

"Whoever wrote this episode should die!" 

"I only have one job on this ship! It may be stupid, but I'm going to do it!" :D

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Just reading stuff from that movie makes me actually laugh. It's truly brilliant.

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15 minutes ago, TheSaint said:

I did hate IV

You're dead to me{.}

 

15 minutes ago, TheSaint said:

I watched Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager infrequently

I've seen every episode no less than 12 times.

My daughter is actually named after two of the DS9 characters.

 

15 minutes ago, TheSaint said:

By the time Enterprise had come around those friends had moved on

That's.... good.  Enterprise, if not considered Star Trek, is watchable.  DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, watch the finale.  It makes the first movie look good.

 

9 minutes ago, tater said:

Just reading stuff from that movie makes me actually laugh. It's truly brilliant.

It's one of my favorite movies ever.  I frequently get on a Sam Rockwell kick and have to watch Galaxy Quest, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and Iron Man 2.  Moon's good too.

Edited by Geonovast

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I have seen all of TOS (more than once, surely), and years ago when we were working late nights most every night (wife was in Residency, so literally at work 120+ hours a week, I had nothing else to do), we would turn the TV on in the office, and TNG was on. So I have seen all (I think) of those, too. I was not a DS9 fan (to be fair, I was not really a TNG fan, either, I watched them all, but bitterly complained about the technobabble and the fact that the writers never seem to remember that they invented solutions to virtually all plots in previous episodes (time travel being a huge hole in any SF, and short of that, they cobble together shields that allow flying through a sun, etc... that they then forget next week). I hated Voyager (the maybe 2 episodes I watched. I saw the first few movies, then started skipping them. I remember I liked STWOK at the time it was first out. I honestly spent more time thinking about Star Trek within Star Fleet Battles (I had the original, bagged editions, then later got the box) than I ever spent caring about the show as a show.

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2 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

You're dead to me{.}

If Leonard Nimoy wanted to make an environmental morality play about saving the whales he should have done it on his own dime. There, I said it. ;)

2 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

It's one of my favorite movies ever.  I frequently get on a Sam Rockwell kick and have to watch Galaxy Quest, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and Iron Man 2.  Moon's good too.

"What's my last name!?"

And, "Oh, that's not right!" is actually a part of my personal lexicon.

13 minutes ago, tater said:

I honestly spent more time thinking about Star Trek within Star Fleet Battles (I had the original, bagged editions, then later got the box) than I ever spent caring about the show as a show.

I was the master of the D5 war cruiser. :)

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I had OLD ST miniatures (from a game that long preceded SFB, where you had a washed with some mono-filament on it with a compass rose to assign firing direction), and those turned out to be what people later used (updated) for SFB. I never played with minis, but I made molds of them, then produced my own resin parts, and we battle damaged them in so many ways, we could each have a ship in front of us (chits on the board) to represent the state of the ship, then as they got damaged we'd swap for the closest match. We even painted them, then put a little pile of black powder on top, then set it off for blast damage effect (looked awesome). We also pulled apart some .303, then took the cordite sticks out, and laid those on, and lit them, and they left scorched lines, sorta like STWOG phaser burn marks.

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35 minutes ago, tater said:

I had OLD ST miniatures (from a game that long preceded SFB, where you had a washed with some mono-filament on it with a compass rose to assign firing direction), and those turned out to be what people later used (updated) for SFB. I never played with minis, but I made molds of them, then produced my own resin parts, and we battle damaged them in so many ways, we could each have a ship in front of us (chits on the board) to represent the state of the ship, then as they got damaged we'd swap for the closest match. We even painted them, then put a little pile of black powder on top, then set it off for blast damage effect (looked awesome). We also pulled apart some .303, then took the cordite sticks out, and laid those on, and lit them, and they left scorched lines, sorta like STWOG phaser burn marks.

Yeah, Star Fleet Battle Manual, made by Lou Zocchi. That man is a legend in gaming. He was the one who obtained the limited Star Trek license from Franz Joseph and then resold it to Stephen Cole/Task Force. It wasn't that long ago that ADB stopped selling the Starline 2200 miniatures, and the plastic Federation ships in that series were cast from the same molds crafted by Zocchi forty years ago.

Edited by TheSaint

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That's it! I could not remember the name.

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4 hours ago, tater said:

I have seen all of TOS (more than once, surely), and years ago when we were working late nights most every night (wife was in Residency, so literally at work 120+ hours a week, I had nothing else to do), we would turn the TV on in the office, and TNG was on.

Since you lean more towards TOS, did you ever watch the animated series?

4 hours ago, tater said:

I hated Voyager (the maybe 2 episodes I watched

The first two seasons, like TNG and DS9, are not great.  But it picks up and gets a lot better.

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36 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

Since you lean more towards TOS, did you ever watch the animated series?

Yeah, I watched it Saturday mornings when it was on originally, I think.

(I was in maybe 3d grade)

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5 hours ago, TheSaint said:

If Leonard Nimoy wanted to make an environmental morality play about saving the whales he should have done it on his own dime. There, I said it. ;)

If you can put aside your hatred for people concerned about the environment, it's a fantastic time travel comedy. There, I said it ;)

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The current era jokes were fairly funny, but like every other instance of time travel in every other SF setting, I hate that aspect of it. Time travel literally ruins everything if you're suppose to suspend disbelief even a little.

Not just because it makes no sense, but because in a franchise like ST, with hundreds and hundreds of stories, it ruins everything. Even if the good guys are honor bound to not mess with time... literally anyone else with a spaceship could once it was a thing in ST. A single Borg could just travel back in time, and assimilate races as they enter space. Shortest route to accomplishing a goal. It's a godawful plot device, and the sign of an incompetent writer, IMHO.

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For me, Gravity has become an Airplane-style comedy since the very first minutes, when they are repairing Hubble, and that idiot with jetpack MMU is running around with joyful squeals.
I could believe in some spacesuit malfunction causing a hypoxia and temporary dementia, but how could the jetpack contain so much fuel?

***

If the guy on the tether had anything he could throw back, he could throw it back and fly to the station.
Never forget a flask of brandy getting to the open space.

Edited by kerbiloid

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

For me, Gravity has become an Airplane-style comedy since the very first minutes, when they are repairing Hubble, and that idiot with jetpack MMU is running around with joyful squeals.
I could believe in some spacesuit malfunction causing a hypoxia and temporary dementia, but how could the jetpack contain so much fuel?

***

If the guy on the tether had anything he could throw back, he could throw it back and fly to the station.
Never forget a flask of brandy getting to the open space.

So glad you noticed the terrible MMU joyride. It rarely gets mentioned by people picking holes in the movie, but for me it summed up its issues pretty well.

1. The movement seemed pretty unlikely (only possible with constant depletion of propellant).

2. No astronaut would ever do it... unless "stupid reckless joyride" was a part of the mission schedule.

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13 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

If you can put aside your hatred for people concerned about the environment, it's a fantastic time travel comedy. There, I said it ;)

Ridiculous, slanderous statement. I don't hate anybody. It was an absurd, contrived plot to drop in the middle of a Star Trek movie. There are a dozen ways Nimoy could have made a great movie about saving the whales. Shoehorning it into Star Trek created plot holes you could drive a truck through, it made the whole movie weak. The weakness of the writing in IV, the dumpster fire that was V, and the horrifying state of the screenwriting/editing of almost everything I saw in the first season of TNG are what convinced me that Star Trek just wasn't worth my time anymore. 

If you really want to know how bad the writing is in Star Trek, think about this: How much debate is made of the viewing order for the Star Wars movies? People almost come to fisticuffs over this. Because it's important. For whatever other faults they may have, the order you view the Star Wars movies in is important because there is an overreaching story arc there. The characters change, the universe changes, the story advances. You're seeing a lot of the same debates arising now over the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because there is a story being told there. Do you ever hear anyone say anything like that about Star Trek? Not really. Because aside from II and III, it doesn't really matter what order you see them in. The characters never change, the universe never changes. They spend a lot of time fighting against stuff, but you never get the impression that they are fighting for anything.

It almost makes me wish they would toss Star Trek on the heap and start writing movies in the Star Fleet Universe from SFB. There things happened that mattered, and people fought and died for what they believed in. You could write some epic stories there.

As always, YMMV.

13 hours ago, tater said:

The current era jokes were fairly funny, but like every other instance of time travel in every other SF setting, I hate that aspect of it. Time travel literally ruins everything if you're suppose to suspend disbelief even a little.

Not just because it makes no sense, but because in a franchise like ST, with hundreds and hundreds of stories, it ruins everything. Even if the good guys are honor bound to not mess with time... literally anyone else with a spaceship could once it was a thing in ST. A single Borg could just travel back in time, and assimilate races as they enter space. Shortest route to accomplishing a goal. It's a godawful plot device, and the sign of an incompetent writer, IMHO.

This is another reason I disliked IV (although, to be fair, casual time travel was already an established thing in the Star Trek universe: Assignment: Earth). To me, good science fiction is about exploring the impact of technology on society. This is something Star Trek overall does very poorly, and in the area of time travel it makes no attempt at all.

5 hours ago, purpleivan said:

So glad you noticed the terrible MMU joyride. It rarely gets mentioned by people picking holes in the movie, but for me it summed up its issues pretty well.

1. The movement seemed pretty unlikely (only possible with constant depletion of propellant).

2. No astronaut would ever do it... unless "stupid reckless joyride" was a part of the mission schedule.

I remember watching the first scenes in Gravity and thinking, "If I were an astronaut watching this right now, I would be incensed."

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You know what would be a great movie?  Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter.  

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28 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

You know what would be a great movie?  Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter.  

Does it involve time travel (other than the only possible direction, forward)?

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1 minute ago, tater said:

Does it involve time travel (other than the only possible direction, forward)?

Yes, but Stephen Baxter is an actual physicist, and the time travel is handled very well.  Their is also FTL, but the FTL can and does violate causality.  

Basically, 

Set thousands of years in the future (AD 5407), the human race has been conquered by the Qax, a truly alien turbulent-liquid form of life, who now rule over the few star systems of human space – adopting processes from human history to effectively oppress the resentful race. Humans have encountered a few other races, including the astoundingly advanced Xeelee, and been conquered once before – by the Squeem – but successfully recovered.[4]

A human-built device, the Interface project, returns to the solar system after 1,500 years. The project, towed by the spaceship Cauchy, returns a wormhole gate, appearing to offer time travel due to the time 'difference' between the exits of the wormhole (relativistic time dilation), with one end having remained in the solar system and the other travelling at near lightspeed for a century. The Qax had destroyed the solar system gate, but a lashed-up human ship (a great chunk of soil including Stonehenge, crewed by a group called the Friends of Wigner) passes through the returning gate, travelling back to the unconquered humanity of 1,500 years ago.

One of the crew of the Cauchy returns with the Friends, Miriam Berg. The Friends have a complex scheme, which does not include a simple military return-and-rescue – the 1,500-year technology gap makes this "risible". From the Wigner thought experiment they have postulated an unusual theory on the ultimate destiny of life in the universe. They believe that quantum wave-functions do not collapse like the Copenhagen interpretation holds, nor that each collapse actually buds off separate universes (like the quantum multiversehypothesis holds) but rather that the universe is a participatory universe: the entire universe exists as a single massive quantum superposition, and that at the end of time (in the open universe of the Xeelee Sequence, time and space are unbounded, or more precisely, bounded only at the Cauchy boundaries of "Time-like infinity" and "Space-like infinity"), when intelligent life has collected all information (compare the Final anthropic principle and the Omega Point), and transformed into an "Ultimate Observer", who will make the "Final observation", the observation which collapses all the possible entangled wave-functions generated since the beginning of the universe. They believe further that the Ultimate Observer will not merely observe, but choose which world line will be the true world-line, and that it will choose the one in which humanity suffers no Squeem or Qax occupations. However, the Ultimate Observer cannot choose between worldlines if no information survives to its era to distinguish worldlines- if the UO never knows of humanity, it cannot choose a worldline favourable to it. In other words, some way is needed to securely send information forward in time.

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1 minute ago, DAL59 said:

Yes, but Stephen Baxter is an actual physicist, and the time travel is handled very well.  Their is also FTL, but the FTL can and does violate causality.  

I pretty much hate anything with time travel.

FTL is always troublesome, but time travel is disqualifying for me.

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That's just one plotline- the B-PLOT(!) is the invasion of the Milky Way by the Xeelee and the construction of a giant ring in order to defeat the photino birds.  

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